In October we headed to Maumere on the north coast of Flores in eastern Indonesia where we started our cruise heading to Alor Island, 160 nautical miles east.
A bundle of exciting dives along the north coast of Flores, Solor, Adonara and Lembata with sharks galore and excellent underwater visibility. Then down through the Alor Strait with dives around Ternate, Buaya, Pantar and Alor Islands. Then a return trip along the southern coastlines of the same islands exploring along the way.
This remote village has very friendly people, we were greeted on arrival by an outrigger canoe full of happy kids. We later went into the village as we had bought along some school supplies and footballs. We were mobbed by the kids when the footballs were distributed at the church, then the children took us to see their school and meet their teacher.
The visit bought home to us the reality of living in these remote islands. Grubby clothes, school books that were literally falling apart, a school that consisted of three rooms with a few old desks, a dirt playground and a flag pole: no computers, no fans, no lunch room, but these kids enthusiastically sang us their national anthem and a song about the sea and its bounty. Not a dry eye among us as they finished singing, and only just in time for the visiting ice cream man on his motorbike to give them all icey treats on us.